Ocean First Education brings the sea to life through high-quality, innovative marine science education and creates lifelong students and stewards of the ocean.
The Latest
The New Website has Arrived!

It’s here! After months of planning, troubleshooting, and fine-tuning, our new website is up and running. We hope you enjoy the new layout and the effort that went into designing this unique user experience.

While we have a new website, our mission to better understand the ocean and share our passion for it remains the same. Thank you for following us and please watch for more exciting content, events, and learning opportunities in the coming months and years from Ocean First Education.

In the News
Mission Blue

Ocean First Education has partnered with Mission Blue to share our passion for bringing the sea to life through education and creating lifelong students and stewards of the ocean.

Mission Blue was founded by Dr. Sylvia Earle, and works to ignite public support for the protection of Hope Spots – special places considered vital to the health of the ocean. Mission Blue’s goal is to safeguard 20 percent of the ocean by 2020 and develop a global network of protected areas in the marine environment for the benefit of future generations.

We are all connected to the ocean, no matter where we live. Our contribution as a Mission Blue partner is to teach this connection through our online marine science courses. Our innovative, interactive curricula brings the ocean to life for middle school to adult learners, regardless of geography, and teaches students how the ocean impacts the entire planet.
In celebration of this partnership we are offering 20% off the short course,
The Truth About Sharks, through March 31, 2016. Simply enter the coupon code MissionBlue at checkout.

Course of the Month
The Truth About Sharks

Sharks are not everything the movies make them out to be! Discover the role these magnificent fish play in the marine ecosystem and why it’s vital that they remain a part of it. Did you know sharks have a sixth sense? In addition to the five that most animals have, including you, sharks are able to detect the slightest electrical impulses created by other living things. While we only get two sets of teeth, sharks have a never ending set of pearly whites known as replacement dentition – a conveyor belt of teeth always at the ready. Learn more about the elasmobranchs: sharks, skates, and rays, in our course of the month – The Truth About Sharks.

Check out The Truth About Sharks, our course of the month.  

Ocean View
Stereo-Video Calibration Challenges and Success

At OFE, our Director of Science and Research, Caine Delacy, Ph.D., has been working on building new stereo-video systems using GoPro cameras and readily available materials for calibration. Over the last 10 years, Dr. Delacy has been using stereo-video to conduct fish research all over the world. From Australia to Africa, Indonesia to Cuba, throughout his journey he has constantly been developing new protocols, more efficient data management, and refining the process to be as efficient and user friendly as possible.

Now with the easily available and cheaper GoPRo HD camera, stereo-video systems are becoming more financially feasible, making it possible for even more researchers to utilize them. Dr. Delacy has just finished his latest round of pool calibrations and field trials, and we are getting closer to being able to make both a cheaper system and inexpensive calibration objects to expand accessibility for broader use in the field.

One of the most exciting things to come of this work is the accuracy across a range of distances. We are now getting accurate measurements of a known length (a bar with length marks on it) in the water past 5 m from the camera. This is important as some organisms will not come that close to us. But, as divers know, one of the beautiful things about being in the water is that so many animals are extremely approachable and will even swim up to you. So we are excited to see that we are able to measure and beyond 5 meters from the camera with confidence and accuracy.

There are some final hurdles to get over, one of these includes building new software that will enable the everyday scientist or citizen scientist to use this equipment without much of a learning curve, and certainly less than there has been in the past.
This year Caine will have the opportunity to trial the stereo-video system in the field. Keep a look out for more news to come, and perhaps a few big sharks to demo the system on!

1 Topic : 5 Facts
How well do you know the ocean?
This regular feature will help acquaint you with our blue planet.
Topic: Tiger Shark
  1. Tiger sharks can grow to be more than 4 meters (13 ft) long and weigh more than 600 kilograms (1,400 lbs).

  2. Tiger sharks are the only living members of the genus Galeocerdo.

  3. Tiger sharks, like all sharks in the order Carcharhiniformes, have a nictitating membrane, a translucent eyelid used to protect the eye.   

  4. The sharp, serrated teeth of a tiger shark are specialized for feeding on tough substances such as turtle shells.

  5. Tiger sharks are known to eat anything and everything. Some of the more bizarre things that have been found in the belly of a tiger shark include: rats, goats, license plates, tires, oil cans, and baseballs.
Events and Announcements
Coming Soon!

Ocean First Education will be attending the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) conference in Denver on March 18th. Stop by North Classroom 1402 at 1:00 pm to learn how you can bring environmental science to your classroom.

Join Ocean First Education and grant awardee Austin Gallagher, Ph.D., on March 25th at 10 am MST to learn more about shark conservation. Register here for this free webinar, today.

Stay tuned to Discovery Education this Earth Day, April 22nd, for a virtual underwater field trip from the Rockies to the sea with the gang at Ocean First Education!


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